09 August 2017

Prevent scheme could be made compulsory, police lead says

.... Cole hit out at those criticising Prevent, such as former Met police superintendent Dal Babu, and those who said it was a cover for a spying programme on innocent people. He said: “This notion of Prevent as a toxic brand is simply incorrect, and is borne from misunderstanding. What I would like to hear more of is constructive dialogue about how we can all work together to stop innocent people being killed.

“On occasions it feels like people are sniping for the sake of it and that what they’re talking about doesn’t reflect the reality of local delivery of the voluntary safeguarding that I see going on all across the country.”

Police figures show that the numbers of referrals to Prevent concerning rightwing extremism doubled in the last year to about 15% of the total, while the bulk of referrals still concerned Islamist extremism. Other referrals were for domestic extremism, with motivations such as protecting animal rights.

Ch Supt David Smart, national coordinator for Prevent, said: “It is not necessarily about changing people’s beliefs. If you are angry about something, find a different way to express that without turning to violence. We are not saying you have to believe what I believe.” [The Guardian] Read more